Haydn’s Masterpieces.



Performed by the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Nicholas McGegan conducting.

Austrian composer Josef Haydn composed these works in the 1770s, a time when he was often creating three to four new symphonies each year. He acknowledged that this pace forced him to ‘become original’.

What we hear are the fruits of a period in which Haydn was eagerly exploring the possibilities of symphonic form and expression, presented by a leading period instrument orchestra.

There are a lot of Haydn symphonies that very well known; among these are the symphonies numbers, 88, 93, 94, and the last few with numbers in the 100’s. The ones performed on this CD are less well known, and in my view they are still delightful treasures.

McGegan’s tempos for these works always sound well thought out, always resilient and flowing, energetic without being rushed. He presents some thoughtful contrasts that keep the music interesting and alive; the faster movements are cheerful, and the simpler slow-movement variations are delightful.

Here is the graceful “Menuet” from Haydn’s Symphony No. 57 in D major:



And next, here is the historic Gewandhausorchester Leipzing, with Herbert Blomstedt, conductor, performing the wonderful Symphony No. 67 in F- Major by Haydn:



Amazing music turned out by the great composer whom we still call “Papa Haydn”, because of his contributions to the development of the symphonic form.


Tags: Josef Haydn, Symphonies, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Nicholas McGegan